Alimony is called “maintenance” in Illinois. Whether a spouse is entitled to maintenance depends on a number of factors, including the ability of the spouse to pay maintenance and still meet his or her own needs, the length of the marriage, the ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to be self-supporting and the martial property awarded to the spouse seeking maintenance. The amount and duration of the maintenance depends on many of the factors listed above, but an additional factor is the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage. In cases where the combined family income is less than $500,000.00, maintenance is determined by a formula contained in 750 ILCS 5/504.
Currently, maintenance is tax-deductible to the spouse paying the maintenance and must be declared as income by the maintenance recipient. However, maintenance awards pursuant to any judgment entered after January 1, 2019 will no longer be tax-deductible to the spouse paying maintenance, which means that the person paying maintenance will be required to pay taxes on any payments made to their ex-spouse. Maintenance paid pursuant to judgments entered prior to January 1, 2019 will continue to be deductible to the payor and taxable to the receipt.